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Zelph

Greatest Japanese wrestler of all time?

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Two names stand out from Japan. Osamu Watanabe and Yojo Uetake.

Am more familiar with Yojo as he wrestled for Oklahoma State, 3x NCAA champ, 2x Outstanding wrestler and came back to his Junior year sporing Olympic Gold.

 

Watanabe was never taken down tho I don't know if 'never scored on' is accurate in the Wikipedia article.

 

Anyone on the forums who saw both in their prime?

 

Or possibly get us to more match info on them - maybe matches online somewhere?

 

 

Osamu Watanabe

 

In 1962, he took first at the freestyle world championships and followed with first place finishes at that year's Asia Games as well as the following year's world championship. Then, at age 24, before his home nation, he took a gold medal in the 1964 Olympics held in Tokyo.[1] He gave up no points during the tournament, spending a total of 10 minutes on the mat altogether. Perhaps most importantly, he retired afterwards with an unbeaten record of 186-0 (without having given up any points through any of his matches), making him the only modern Olympian in any style of wrestling to go unbeaten throughout the entirety of his career. He is also known to take on extremely talented young wrestlers from around the world. (from Wikipedia)

 

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Yojiru Uetake

 

Uetake competed at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo where he received a gold medal in Freestyle wrestling, the bantamweight class.[1]

 

He also received a gold medal in 1968.[2]

 

He wrestled for Oklahoma State University, and was undefeated in three college seasons. He is a member of the USA Wrestling Hall of Fame.

 

http://www.examiner.com/list/meet-all-t ... iro-uetake

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Yuji Takada should be in the mix as well, 74,75, 76 (dominating gold medal performance) 77, 79, and probably 80 without the boycott. Got caught by A Belaglsov but dominated him the next year. An exciting offensive machine of a wrestling.

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I agree with these 3 Japanese wrestlers being the top 3, in order-Watanabe, Uetake, and Takada. It's interesting that Watanabe lost in the Veterans tournament few years ago to a fellow countryman; he trained much harder for a return a couple years later and won at age 63? in the 56 and older age group.

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Masamitsu Ichiguchi was World and Olympic Greco champ in 1963/64. I asked him why he was a Greco wrestler and he said " because freestyle is too easy" :-)

 

Would like to hear from any of our Japanese or 1960s wrestlers if they got a chance to watch Ichi and give a review.

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